The work-life quiz Martin bartlam

What was your first-ever job?
A gardener at Bradford College – think Desperate Housewives.


Martin Bartlam
Firm: Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
Position: London managing partner
Lives: Hertfordshire
Education: King’s College, University of London
Work history:
1987: Trainee, Slaughter and May
1989: Qualified in London
1991: Qualified in Hong Kong
1993: Made an associate at Slaughter and May in London
1994: Joined Wilde Sapte
1996: Made partner at Wilde Sapte
1998: Joined Crédit Lyonnais as head of structured products
2000: Joined Jones Day as head of finance
2004: Joined Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe as partner
2006: Promoted to London managing partner

What was your first-ever job?
A gardener at Bradford College – think Desperate Housewives.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
My property seat.

Where’s the best place to find out what’s really going on in the office?
I find it best not to know.

What time do you usually leave the office?
Too late – except Mondays, when I leave by 7pm to play football.

What do you do at the weekends?
Spend time with my children, coach Harpenden Colts Under-10s’ Football Team and play golf or go running or cycling.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Hakkasan in London.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?
Interior designer and part-time karate instructor.

Who’s your hero and why?
Martin Johnson – he could lead a team to World Cup victory, play a magnificent game and leave others to take the glory.

What’s the best thing about your job?
The people I work with.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Commuting. Being stuck in a tunnel with a potential lateral recruit waiting in the office is a nightmare.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
As a banker I worked on a structured transaction for almost seven months, only to have it refused by the credit committee because they didn’t like one of the other bankers working in the team. I learnt that it’s more important to understand people and their motivations than the merits of a particular case.

What car do you drive?
1991 Lotus Elan.

What book are you reading?
Sadly, Henderson on Derivatives by Schuyler K Henderson.

What’s on your CD player at the moment?
Goldfrapp’s Supernature.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?
One of my first deals as a newly qualified was a $300m financing where over one week I had to travel to Melbourne, Australia, to finalise documents, agree opinions in Singapore and run the signing in Jakarta, Indonesia.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what two luxury items would you take?
Sunglasses and a mobile phone.

What’s the worst partner conference location you’ve attended and why?
Chelsea Football Club – the pitch looks great but inside it doesn’t work.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
Two and a half days working for a fund on the acquisition, financing and reorganisation of a UK property portfolio.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you?
Patrick Swayze or Bill Murray.

Who would you least like to be stuck with in a lift and why?
The wicked witch from The Wizard of Oz. As a child I had a recurring dream that she was waiting outside the gate at the bottom of the garden.